HYDERABAD: In the Nizam fund case which spanned over 70 years, the only witness that was called and was able to depose in person was Prince Muffakham Jah.
The other key persons concerned had either passed away, ‘were not interested in the case or funds’, or simply did not choose to appear before the court.
On Pakistan’s side, one Shaharyar Mohammad Khan, an official of Pakistan’s foreign office had provided a statement on January 2016, but declined to provide evidence at the trial because of his health.
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Other important stakeholders in the case were Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola, Nizam VII Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, Lakshmi Narayan Gupta — all of who had passed away by the time the trial resurfaced.
Muffakham Jah’s elder brother, Prince Mukarram, who is still alive, was removed from the proceedings and was not even called to provide evidence considering ‘he no longer had any interest in the fund’.
The last stakeholder in the case was Christopher Lintott, the administrator of the estate of Nizam VII, who, the judge noted did not appear at the trial.
Meanwhile, after reading Muffakham Jah’s evidence, Judge Marcus Smith had noted that the Prince was a ‘careful and transparently honest witness’ but also refused to place weight on his statement.
“Prince would have been nine or ten at the time, and he was not himself present at these meetings. He simply recalled discussions about those meetings after the event. It is very difficult to attach weight to such recollections,” the judge noted.
For instance, on June 11, 2019, the Prince confirmed that he only remembered the meeting about the said Rahimtoola account only from certain letters and not from memory.